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fashion. To help his friends was to him really valued was the excitement of the so much of a pleasure, that it could not campaign: in the ardor of the fight he be a virtue.

sought and found compensation. The charge that he was ready to push person of great honor in Ireland used to his own fortunes by any means however tell me that my mind was like a conjured base, seems to us to be capable of even spirit, that would do mischief if I would more emphatic refutation. Thackeray not give it employment.” And he says says that Swift was abject to a lord. elsewhere, “I myself was never very The truth is, that no man was ever more miserable while my thoughts were in independent. The moment that Harley a ferment, for I imagine a dead calm is hurt his sense of self-respect by an injudi- the troublesomest part of our voyage cious gift, he broke with him. The treas through the world." These and similar urer had taken an unpardonable liberty, avowals are very characteristic. The and must apologize. "If we let these cool poetic woodland was not for this great ministers pretend 100 inuch, there man. He could not go and lie down on will be no governing them,” he wrote to the grass, and listen to the birds, and Stella. He recognized true greatness be happy like his innocent rustics. One cordially wherever be found it, and real may pity him, but censure surely is stukindness subdued him at once. But the pidly unjust. Not only were his faculties mere trappings of greatness — the stars in finest working order at the supreme and and garters and ribbons had no effect critical juncture, when the fortune of batupon his imagination :

tle was poised in the balance, but the Where titles give no right or power,

noise of the guns and the shouts of the And peerage is a withered flower.

combatants drove away the evil spirit

which haunted him. Absorbed in the He loved Oxford; he loved Bolingbroke; great game, he forgot himself and the but he did not love them better than he misery which at times was well-nigh inloved Pope and Gay and Arbuthnot. He tolerable. For all his life a dark shadow left Somers and Halisax when he thought hung over him, and only when drinking they were playing the Church false; but "delight of battle with his peers "might the Tory chiefs who had been kind to him, he escape into the sunshine. It must though one ivas in exile and the other in never be forgotten that Swist suffered not the Tower, were never inentioned by him merely from almost constant bodily diswithout emotion. He offered to share comfort, but from those dismal forebodOxford's imprisonment; and nothing ings of mental decay which are even more would induce him to bow the knee to trying than the reality. Walpole. He was anxious, indeed, to We need not wonder that such a man obtain promotion; he would have been should have been cynical. The profound well pleased if his friends had made him melancholy of his later years was a bishop; but the anxiety was quite natu- lieved by any break of light; but even in ral. If there had been any show of neg. bis gayest time the gloom must have been lect, if the men for whom he had fought often excessive. The scorn of fools, – so gallantly had affected to underrate his services and to overlook his claims, his

Hated by fools and fools to bate, sell-respect would have been wounded.

Be that my motto and my fate, The feeling was precisely similar to that is the burden of his earliest as of his latof the soldier who fails to receive the est poetry. ribbon or the medal which he has earned. But Swift was not greedy either of riches My hate, whose lash just heaven has long de

creed or of fame, so long as he was able to Shall on a day make sin and folly bleed ! keep the wolf from the door, the most modest competence was all that he asked. Alas! it hurt himself as much as, or even He had none of the irritable vanity of the more than, the fools and sinners; so that author; all his works were published at the end, when his hand bad lost its anonymously; and he manifested a curi. cunning, as he thought, and the curtain ous indifference to that posthumous repu. was about to drop, he e: treated Pope to tation — "the echo of a hollow vault” give them one more lash at his request. which is so eagerly and vainly prized by Life is not a farce," he adds, "it is aspiring mortals. "Nor did he give a a ridiculous tragedy, which is the worst thought to the money value of his work — kind of composition;" and then (it be. Pope, Mrs. Barber, the booksellers, longs to the same period, and certainly might have it, and welcome. What he shows no failure of power) he proceeds to

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draw that tremendous picture of the day coarseness of much that he wrote is like. of judgment, which, if he had left nothing wise symptomatic of disease. But, as we more, would alone prove to us that Swift's have said, it is unfair to judge him by the intense satirical imagination was of the incidents of his closing years. The prohighest order:

found misanthropy grew upon him. At

first it was clearness of vision, at last While each pale sinner hung his head,

it was bitterness of soul. But it did not Jove, nodding, shook the heavens and said, Ofiending race of human kind,

overpower him till he had passed middle By reason, nature, learning, blind,

life, till his ambition had been foiled, till You who through frailty step'd aside,

he had been driven into exile, till Stella And you who never fell — through pride ; was dead, till he was tortured by almost You who in different sects were shamm'd, constant pain, till the shadows of a yet And come to see each other damn'd

deeper darkness were closing round him. (So some folks told you, but they knew

The story of Swist's relations with No more of Jove's designs than you),

Stella and Vanessa is one of those someThe world's mad business now is,p'er, And I resent these pranks no more.

what mysterious episodes in literary bis. I to such blockheads set my wit !

tory which continue to baffle criticism. I damn such fools !–Go, go, you're bit.

The undisputed facts are briefly these:

that Swift became acquainted with EsStrange as it may appear to some, the thier Johnson (Stella) at Sir William Temman who wrote these terrible lines was a ple's; that he directed the girl's studies; man whose heart was intensely sensitive, that a romantic friendship sprang up bewhose affections were morbidly acute, tween them; that soon asier Sir William's who could not bear to see his friends in death she went, on Swift's advice, to repain. His cynicism melted into pity at a side in Ireland, where she had a small word. “I hate life,” he exclaims, when estate, and where living was relatively he hears that Lady Ashburnham is dead, cheaper than in England; that though "I hate life, when I think it exposed they always lived apart, the early attachto such accidents; and to see so many ment became closer and more intimate; wretches burdening the earth, when such that about 1708 he was introduced to the as her die, makes me think God did never Vanhomrigh family in London; that Hesintend life to be a blessing.” Little Har- ter Vanhomrigh (Vanessa) fell violently in rison, in whom he had interested himself, love with him; that she followed him to is taken dangerously ill, and he has not Ireland; that she died in 1723, soon after the courage to knock at the “poor lad's ” a passionate scene with the man she door to inquire. “ I told Parnell I was loved; and that Stella died in 1728, and afraid to knock at the door; my mind was buried in the cathedral – close to the misgave me. I knocked, and his man in grave where the dean was afterwards laid. tears told me his master was dead an hour | These are the bare facts, which have been before. Think what grief this is to me! very variously construed by critics, and of I did not dine with Lord Treasurer, or which we now proceed to offer the explaanywhere else, but got a bit of meat nation which appears to fit them most toivards evening.". When the letter came nearly. But, in doing so, it is necessary telling him that Gay was dead, he knew to dismiss at the outset the common as. by instinct an impulse forboding some sumption that relations of close friendship misfortune"

what it contained, and between a man and woman are abnormal could not open it for days. And when and unaccountable unless they end in Stella was ill, his anguish was greater marriage. What we assert is, that the than he could bear. "What am I to do devotion of Swift to Esther Johnson was in this world? I am able to hold up my the devotion of friendship, not of love; sorry lead no longer.”

and that from this point of view only does And yet at times it cannot be denied the riddle admit of even approximate so. - Swift could be simply brutal. When lution. his passion was roused he was merciless. Swift, as we have seen, had resolved He struck out like a blind man - in a sort early in life that no temptation would of frantic rage. He raved he stormed induce him to barter his independence. - he lost self-control — he was taken pos. With the object of securing a modest session or by his devil. The demoniac competence, he practised the most rigid element was at times strong in Swilt: economy. He had no fortune of bis own, somewhere or other in that mighty mind and his beggarly Irish livings afforded there was a congenital Aaw which no him at most a bare subsistence. A heavy medicine could heal. Tie lamentable / burden of debt more than a thousand

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pounds — attached to the deanery on his the curious paper of 1699, “When I come appointment. Thus he was growing old to be old,” was, “not to be fond of chil. before, with the views which be enter-dren, or let them come near me hardly.” tained, he was in a position to marry. Esther Johnson, the only child who up to And he was not a man to whom “love in that time had come very close to him, was a cottage” could have offered any attrac- then just leaving her childhood behind tions. “ He is covetous as hell, and am- her — she was seventeen years old. The bitious as the prince of it,” he said of delicate girl had matured or was maturing Marlborough. Swift was not mercenary into a bright and charming woman. It is as the duke was mercenary; but the last admitted on all hands that Stella was infirmity of noble minds was probably his worthy of Swift's – indeed of any man's ruling passion. The oracle of a country - regard. She had great good sense; town, tied to a dull and exacting wife, he ber conversation was keen and sprightly; would have fretted himself to death in a and though latterly inclining to stoutness, year. He needed the pressure of action her figure was then extremely fine. The to prevent him from growing gloomy and face was somewhat pale; but the pallor Nor was

mere irritability, or served to heighten the effect of her brileven the sava indignatio, the worst that liantly dark eyes and unusually black hair. he bad to apprehend. His health was Hair of a raven black,” says Mrs. Delaindifferent; he suffered much from deaf- ney; "Her hair was blacker than a raven,' ness and giddiness, - caused, it is as says Swift. In society she was much serted, by some early imprudence, a sur esteemed; she had a touch of Addison's feit of ripe fruit or the like, but more or courteous and caressing manner, though less closely connected, it is probable, with later on, among her Irish friends, she the mental disease which seems to have rose to be a sort of queen, and became run in the family — his uncle Godwin possibly a little peremptory and dictatohaving died in a madhouse. “I shall be rial. But she seems at all times in spite like that tree,” he is reported to have said of a brief fit of jealous passion. now and many years before his own death, pointing again) to have been a true, honest, soundto an elm whose upper branches had been hearted, modest woman. She herself withered by lightning; “I shall die at the attributes her superiority to the common top.” Even in early manhood he had foibles of ber sex to Swift's early influconfessed that he was of a “cold tem- ence; and in one of the latest birthday per;” and he spoke of love — the absurd poems he sent her, he does ample justice passion of play.books and romances to her candor, her generosity; and her only to ridicule it. His opinion of mar-courage :riage, in so far as he himself was interested, may be gathered from a letter Your generous boldness to defend written when he was five-and-twenty:

An innocent and absent friend; “The very ordinary observations I made That courage which can make you just without going half a mile from the uni

To merit humbled in the dust;

The detestation you express versity, have taught me experience enough not to think of marriage till I settle my

For vice in all its glittering dress;

That patience under tort'ring pain, fortune in the world, which I'am sure will Where stubborn Stoics would complain: not be in some years; and even then I Must these like empty shadows pass, am so hard to please myself, that I sup- Or forms reflected from a glass ? pose I shall put it off to the next world.This may have been said partly in jest; There can be no doubt that for Stella, but a man so situated, and with such Swist had a great compassion, a true tenantecedents, may very reasonably have derness. The innocent child had been, asked himself whether he was entitled to as it were, thrown upon his care; she marry. Friendship, on the other hand, grew up to girlhood at his side; he was was a noble emotion; he never wearies of her guardian, her schoolmaster, her nearsinging its praise. And he acted up to est friend. But so far as he was conhis persuasion : if Swift was a bitter foe, cerned, there never was any thought of he was at least a constant and magnani. love between them, schoolmaster mous friend.

might address a favorite pupil, a father a Yet, by some curious perversity, the beloved child, in precisely the same lan. man to whom love was a by-word was guage that Swift addressed to Stella. It forced to sound the deeps and to explore was friendship — friendship of the closest the mysteries of passion.

and most endearing character, but friend. One of Swift's resolutions, recorded in ship only — that united them. His tone

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throughout, from first to last, was per- her health, the lines seem to us to reach a fectly consistent :

very high altitude indeed : Thou, Stella, wert no longer young,

Best pattern of true friends, beware ; When first for thee my harp I strung,

You pay too dearly for your care, Without one word of Cupid's darts,

If, while your tenderness secures Of killing eyes or bleeding hearts;

My life, it must endanger yours; With friendship and esteem possest,

For such a fool was never found I ne'er admitted love a guest. *

Who pulled a palace to the ground, This was the language that he held to

Only to have the ruins made

Materials for a house decayed. Tisdale in 1704, soon after Esther had gone to Ireland; this was the language How did Stella accept this lifelong he held to Stopford when she was dying. friendship, this playful homage, this tenIf he had ever thought of marriage, he der reverence? What did she think of would have chosen Stella : but“ his for- it? It seems to us that a great deal of tunes and his humor” had put matri- quite unnecessary pity has been wasted mony out of the question; and his expe. on Esther Johason. It may be that Swift rience had been, that violent friendship did not recognize the extent of the sacriwas as much engaging and more lasting fice he demanded; but in truth, was the than violent love. Every care was taken sacrifice so hard ? Is there any proof that to make the nature of the relation clear to Stella was an unwilling victim; or, inthe world ; and in point of fact, no scandal deed, a victim at all? She mixed freely came of it.

in society; she occupied a quite assured The "little language ” in which so position; she was the comfort and conmany of the letters and journals are writ. fidant of the greatest man of the age. Is ten, seems to us to point to the same there any reason whatever to hold that conclusion. Swift dwells upon Esther's she was unhappy? On the contrary, did charming babyhood with the sweetness she not declare to the last that she had and tenderness of parental reminiscence. been amply, repaid ? That innocent babble - the babble of our children before they have quite mastered

Long be the day that gave you birth

Sacred to friendship, wit, and mirth; the difficulties of speech — had a peren- Late dying, may

cast a shred nial charm for him, as, through him, Of your rich mantle o'er my head; it has for us. “I assure zu it um velly To bear with dignity my sorrow, late now; but zis goes to-morrow. Nite, One day alone, then die to-morrow. darling rogues." He has as many pet names for Stella as a fond father has for

Vanessa (Hester Vanhomrigh) was a a pet daughter. She is Saucebox, and woman cast in quite a different mould. Sluttakins, and dear, roguish, impudent, Her vehement and unruly nature had pretty MD, and politic Madame Poppet never been disciplined ; and when her paswith her two eggs a-penny. How lightly, sion was roused, she was careless of her how delicately touched! That is the name. There can, we think, be little good gayer mood; the more sombre is hardly doubt that Swift was for some time really less striking. In his darkest hours, her interested in her. She was an apt and pure devotion to him is like light from docile pupil; and if not strictly handsome, heaven. She is his better angel, – the she appears to have possessed a certain saint in the little niche overhead who in power of fascination — the “strong toil of tercedes for him. “ Much better. Thank grace,” which is often more potent than God and MD's prayers." Giddy fit mere beauty. It cannot be said, indeed, and swimming in head. MD and God that Swift was in love with Hester ; but belp me.” Nothing can be more touch she certainly charmed his fancy and aping. Some critics maintain that Swift pealed successfully to his sympathies. never wrote poetry. It would be truer, Stella was absent in Dublin; and the we think, to affirm that whenever he uses dean was a man who enjoyed the society the poetical form to express (sometimes of women who were preity and witty and to hide) intense feeling, he writes better accomplished, and who accepted with enpoetry than any of his contemporaries.

tire submission his despotic and whimsiWhen, for instance, he urges Stella, cal decrees. Vanessa was such a woman; who had come from her own sick-bed to and he does not, for some time at least, nurse him in his sickness, not to injure appear to have appreciated the almost

tropical passion and vehemence of her • Written in three or four years after the nature, dangerous and devastating as a alleged marriage.

thunderstorm in the tropics, — appears,

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1720

on the contrary, to have been in utter what may be called the circumstantial ignorance of what was coming, till she evidence, the evidence of facts and cir. threw herself into his arms. He had had no cumstances, is distinctly adverse. But in serious thought; but the acuteness of the confirmation of what has been already adcrisis into which their intimacy had sud- vanced, we may here remark, that besides denly developed, alarmed and disquieted the letters and poems addressed to lierself him. Here was a flood-tide of passion of (where friendship to the exclusion of love which he had had no experience — fierce, is invariably insisted on), he wrote much uncontrollable, intolerant of prudential re- about her.' In these papers the same straints. “ Can't we touch these bubbles, tone is preserved, - she is a dear friend, then, but they break?” some one asks in not a wife. One of them was composed, one of Robert Browning's plays; and like Carlyle's remarkable account of his Swift regarded the situation with the father, in very solemn circumstances, same uneasiness and perplexity: He was written mainly during the hours that was sorely dismayed, uiterly put about, elapsed between the day she died and the when he discovered how matters stood. day she was buried. “This day, being It is easy to say that he should have left Sunday Jan. 28, 1727-28, about eight her at once, and avoided any further inti. o'clock at night a servant brought me macy. It is easy to say this; but all the a note with an account of the death of same, the situation in any light was ex- the truest, most virtuous, and valuable tremely embarrassing. He may possibly friend that I, or perhaps any other person, for the moment have been rather flattered was ever blessed with." “ This is the by her preference, as most men would be night of her funeral,” he adds two days by the attentions of a pretty and attrac- later, “which my sickness will not suffer tive girl; and he may have thought, upon me to attend. It is now nine at night; the whole, that it was best to temporize. and I am removed into another apartment By gentle raillery, by sportive remon- that I may not see the light in the church, strance, he would show her how foolish which is just over against the window of she had been in losing her heart to a man my bed-chamber.” No record was ever “ who understood not what was love," and penned in circumstances more calculated who, though caressed by ministers of to make a deep impression on the mind, state, was old enough to be her father. and to induce the writer to speak with the But poor Vanessa was far too much in most perfect frankness, sincerity, and unearnest to accept his playful advice. She reserve; but here, as elsewhere, it is the was peremptory and she was abject by irreparable loss of her “friendship” that turns. "Sometimes you strike me with is deplored. Not a word of marriage. that prodigious awe, i tremble with fear; Then there is no proof that Stella at any at other times a charming compassion time asserted that she was his wise, the shows through your countenance, which stories of the meeting with Vanessa, and revives my soul.” He must marry her, of the death-bed declaration, being mani. or she would die. And she did die. It fest inventions. Mr. Craik fairly admits

a hard fate. Another man might that the latter of these is incredible; yet have been free to woo her; but to Swift the evidence which he discards in consuch a union was, of course, impossible. nection with the declaration is almost Stella stood between them, and behind precisely identical with that which he acStella that gloomy phantom of mental and cepts in connection with the marriage. bodily disease which had haunted him all Nor is there any evidence to show that his life. He was not ungrateful to either they were held to be married persons durof these women; but such a return would ing their lives, — they had both been dead have been worse than ingratitude. and buried for years before the rumor of

Mr. Craik is of opinion that there is their union obtained publicity. There enough direct evidence to show that Swist may be in some contemporary lampoon was inarried to Esther Johnson in 1716. an allusion to the alleged ceremony; we We hold, on the contrary, not only that have not met with it nor, so far as we the direct evidence of marriage is insuffiknow, has it been met with by any of the cient, but that it can be established with biographers. Nor can any plausible moreasonable certainty (in so far, at least, as tive for the marriage be assigned. There a negative is capable of proof) that no was no scandal to silence; the relations marriage took place.

between them, which had subsisted for We have already described so fully the nearly twenty years, appear to have been character of the relations between them, sufficiently understood. But assuming that it is only now necessary to say that that there had been scandal, how was it

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